Mr. Rogers' IB Design Technology Objectives
Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Inv. innov. & design Design cycle  Green Design Group IV  

Topic 2 Green Design

IB Design Technology Standards: Items directly related to the standards are shown in blue

Lesson Plan Practice Test Study Guide

Objectives (those directly related to the IB Design Technology Standard are shown in blue)

Essential Question: How does green design impact your life?

Principles of green design

  1. Define green design,

  • sustainable

  • low environmental impact or footprint

  1. List examples of renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Note that the energy for all renewable sources comes from the Sun. For example the Sun causes water to evaporate. The water eventually falls as rain and some collects behind dams and is used to generate hydro-electric power.

renewable resources non-renewable resources
Photovoltaic electricity Fossil fuels: oil, gas, coal. These represent solar energy that was stored in ancient plants that died and were eventually converted into fossil fuels by geological processes over millions of years
Solar heating nuclear energy (uranium)
Wind generated power metals: these can be considered renewable to the extent they are recycled.
Bio-fuels: bio-diesel, ethanol, methanol  
Lumber: this is only true if the rate of replacing trees is greater than or equal to the rate of cutting down trees.  
  1. Outline the reasons for green design.

  • consumer pressure: also customer approval. Energy efficient products are cheaper to operate and hence, are sought after by customers

  • legislation: this is needed when green alternatives or behavior is more expensive than less environmentally responsible options.

  • manufacturing cost savings: energy efficiency reduces manufacturing cost. Emissions of pollutants often represent a loss of product or raw materials. Solid waste that goes to a landfill is an expense.

  • reliability of supply: flex fuel vehicles and plug in hybrid vehicles are less dependent on gasoline supplies (a major benefit of the Brazilian system).

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the cost of polluted air and water?
  2. Should pollution be part of the price for a product? On this basis is coal generated electricity (usually the cheapest fossil fuel) properly priced?
  3. Is legislation a good way to promote green design or is it a choice of last resort?
  4. Would companies that embrace green design be likely to be more or less profitable?
  1. List design objectives for green products.

  • efficiency: in the use of materials, energy and other resources

  • low-impact materials: minimizing damage or pollution from the chosen materials

  • minimal long-term harm from product use:

  • product that functions efficiently for its full life

  • low-impact product disposal: taking full account of the effects of the end disposal of the product

  • environmentally friendly packaging and instructions:

  • minimal nuisances: such as noise or smell

  • minimal safety hazards:

  1. Discuss the impact of “take back” legislation on designers and manufacturers of cars, refrigerators and washing machines.

  2. Explain how people can be broadly classified according to their attitudes to green issues.

  • Eco-warriors actively demonstrate on environmental issues.

  • Eco-champions champion environmental issues within organizations.

  • Eco-fans enthusiastically adopt environmentally friendly practices as consumers. Every time you purchase a product you vote for its continuation.

  • Eco-phobes actively resent talk of environmental protection.


Have attitudes toward the

environment actually changed?

Here are some example of advertisements from the 50s and 60s intended to make oil companies look good.

Assessment -- Analysis of “Take Back” Legislation

Specifications: Research "take back" legislation on the internet. Make a table and list the pros on one side and the cons on the other. Below the table write a paragraph describing the best way to use "take back" legislation. Below the paragraph, list at least 3 references.

Deliverable: Place the completed Word file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Groups of 2.


Relevance: Within the lifetime of today's high school students, there are likely to be petroleum product shortages due to a lack of supply and significant environmental disruptions due to global warming. Green design is a way to minimize these problems.


Essential Question: What are the factors that make a product green?

Life cycle analysis

  1. Define life cycle analysis.

  2. List the key stages in life cycle analysis.

  • pre-production: This mainly concerns issues associated with acquiring raw materials. For example, obtaining metals using strip mining, use of forests, insecticides used in farming, etc.

  • production: manufacturing consumes energy and other resources like water, landfill space, etc. In addition to the product it also generally produces air and water pollution.

  • distribution including packaging: includes the energy requirements of transportation. while packaging is often considered a source of waste, it can prevent excessive product loss from spoilage or damage.

  • utilization: Energy consumption.

  • disposal:

  1. List the major environmental considerations in life cycle analysis.

  • water--surface water, ground water, runoff

  • soil pollution and degradation--contamination, erosion (dust bowel)

  • air contamination--pollution (ground level ozone), particulates (smoke), greenhouse gasses

  • noise

  • energy consumption--renewable, non-renewable, clean, dirty

  • consumption of natural resources

  • pollution and effect on ecosystems--endangered species

  1. Organize the environmental considerations of the life cycle stages into an environmental impact assessment matrix.

  2. Explain why elements of the matrix may differ in importance according to the particular design context.

  3. Name the major source of water pollution in Greenville county--siltification typically caused by excessive rain water runoff.

  4. Describe strategies for controlling excessive runoff.

  • trees

  • green parking lot design

  • rain gardens

  • rain collection systems (rain barrels)

  • retaining basins

  1. Describe the elements of green parking lot design.

  • plantings that can tolerate wet and dry cycles

  • lower than grade plantings that are not blocked by curbs

  • permeable paving techniques

  • correct sizing of the number of parking spaces.


Discussion Questions

  1. Would companies that embrace green design be likely to be more or less profitable?
  2. Can packaging be environmentally responsible even if it ends up in a land fill?
  3. Are plastic bags really worse than paper/

Discussion Questions

County planners actually use Google Earth

  1. How could county planners use a program like Google Earth for analyzing parking lots and their impact?
  2. How could they use it for determining land use or other infrastructure needs?

Assessment -- Analysis of Runoff

IB Standard: environmental impact assessment matrix.

Specifications: Locate a parking lot in Greenville (the Bi Lo lot on Pelham Road near 85) using Google Earth. Measure the dimensions of the lot and calculate the lot's area and runoff in gallons for 1" of rain.

Deliverable: An Excel file showing the area of the parking lot and the runoff amount along with all of the required calculations. Include an environmental impact assessment matrix for the parking lot in the Excel spreadsheet Place the Excel file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Groups of 2.


Essential Question: How can a designer influence product life cycle in a way that minimizes the product's environmentaL impact over its entire life cycle?
  1. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the designer, manufacturer and user at each life cycle stage of a product.

  pre-production: production: distribution including packaging: utilization disposal:
  • select low impact materials
  • design for ease of manufacturing.
  • select materials to minimize waste and energy consumption in manufacturing
  • design for small size and light weight
  • minimize packaging materials
  • select low impact packaging materials
  • use effective eco-labeling
  • design for energy efficiency, low noise, safety, etc.
  • design for recycling, reuse, repair, reconditioning.
  • select materials for minimal land fill impact.
  • minimize the number of materials
  • design for disassembly and label for recycling
  • use green product designers
  • use green design in manufacturing facilities
  • require green practices from vendors
  • use state of the are pollution and noise abatement.
  • minimize all waste streams.


  • use green design (such as green parking lots) in distribution facilities
  • Use biodegradable peanut packing.
  • provide instructions to encourage proper use and disposal of product.
  • initiate take-back policies
  • use green design and energy efficiency as part of the buying decision.
  • use the product in an environmentally responsible manner
  • recycling, reuse, repair, and return the product for reconditioning if  possible
  • compost
  1. Describe one example of a situation where life cycle analysis identifies conflicts that have to be resolved through prioritization. Halon fire extinguishers: they were superb fire extinguishers but, if used, released chemicals that could significantly damage the ozone layer. Today they are no longer manufactured. The priority of protecting the environment was judged to be higher than the priority of effectively extinguishing fires.

  2. Explain that life cycle analysis is targeted at particular product categories. Keep in mind that ideally it should be targeted at all product categories, but clearly some products have more impact or the companies making them have far more resources for implementing life cycle analysis.

  • products with a high environmental impact and in the global marketplace.

  • targets companies with the resources to invest in R&D.

  1. Explain why life cycle analysis is not widely used in practice.

  • cost, however, sometimes the cost of green design is offset by other forms of savings.

  • lack of technology or know-how

  • resistance to change

  1. Describe the reasons for the introduction of eco-labeling schemes.

  2. Compare the objectives of two different eco-labeling schemes.

  • Europe,

  • Australia

  • the United States (US).

Assessment -- Analysis of eco-labeling schemes

IB Standard:eco-labeling schemes

Specifications: Using internet research, find and list the objectives of eco-labeling schemes for

  • Europe,

  • Australia

  • the United States (US).

Deliverable: Place the completed Word file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individuals.


Essential Question: How can a designer influence whether the product is reused or recycled?

Strategies for green design

  1. Describe how reuse, repair, reconditioning and recycling contribute to the optimization of resource utilization.

  2. Describe how the strategies of reuse, repair and recycling can be applied to the design of products, including packaging.

  • reuse--robust design, cleanable, example: refillable propane tanks, refillable spray bottles

  • repair--modular design with ease of access, built in diagnostic capabilities, example: cars

  • reconditioning--modular design with ease of access, interchangeable upgrade parts, example: computers

  • recycling--materials selection, must be compatible and recyclable

  1. Describe how composting can be used to reduce landfill requirements.

  • yard waste--over 50% of all land fill materials are yard waste.

  • packing materials--cardboard, biodegradable packing peanuts, newspapers can be composed

  • food wastes--especially vegetable waste

  1. List three material groups that can be easily and economically recycled.

  • metals

  • glass

  • thermoplastics

  • paper

  1. Describe how many products comprise several different materials, and state that these materials have to be separated to enable recycling.

  2. Discuss the issues underpinning the economic recycling of materials.

  • collection

  • energy

  • redistribution

  • degradation/contamination

  1. Define design for disassembly.

  2. Explain that design for disassembly is one aspect of design for materials and will facilitate recycling of products on disposal.

  3. Discuss strategies that designers could employ to design for disassembly.

  • Design components made from a single material.

  • Use thermoplastic adhesives that lose their properties when reheated.

  • Designing snap fittings instead of welding and gluing.

  • Use screws or bolts as fasteners rater than rivets. (Rivets generally have to be ground of or must be drilled out to remove.

  • Label plastic parts according to type

Assessment -- Analysis of Paper vs. Plastic

IB Standard:disposal

Specifications: Answer the question: which takes up more space in a landfill, paper bags or plastic bags?

Deliverable: Show in-class measurements and calculations.

Work Group: Individuals.

Assessment: Test objectives 1-20



Additional Higher Level Objectives

Essential Question: What is appropriate technology?

Appropriate technology and sustainable development

  1. Define:

  • appropriate technology

  • sustainable development

  • triple bottom line sustainability

  1. List four characteristics of an appropriate technology

  2. Describe one example of an appropriate technology

For example, solar cooking, hybrid vehicles, windup torches.

  1. Identify the three key dimensions of triple bottom line sustainability.

  • Economic sustainability: growth, development, productivity, trickle-down.

  • Environmental sustainability: ecosystem integrity, carrying capacity, biodiversity.

  • Social sustainability: cultural identity, empowerment, accessibility, stability, equity.

  1. Explain how global conferences (for example, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg) provide a platform for the development of global strategies for sustainable development.

  2. Explain the ongoing challenges facing the achievement of a consensus on a strategy for sustainable development.

  3. Outline the Bellagio principles. See “The Sustainability Report” of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
  4. Explain how progress towards sustainable development might be assessed using the Bellagio principles.

In 1996 the International Institute for Sustainable Development developed general guidelines for the practical assessment of progress towards sustainable development—the Bellagio principles. These identify common patterns in sustainable development-related assessments.

Assessment -- Analysis of Paper vs. Plastic

IB Standard:the Bellagio principles

Specifications: Write a 1 to 2 page paper (single spaced 12pt Arial or less font) that answers objectives 6 and 7 above.

Deliverable: Place the completed Word file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individuals.

  1. Explain why sustainable development requires systems-level changes in industry and society as well as close cooperation between manufacturers and government.

  2. Explain how a close relationship between manufacturers and government can be difficult to achieve because the two parties may have very different perspectives on sustainability and timescales.

  3. Outline three reasons why it is difficult for governments to introduce legislation to cover all aspects of sustainability.

  • Sustainability issues can be very complex and difficult to understand, hence, there may be no clear-cut course of action.

  • Resistance to change: Groups that will bear the costs may resist proposed changes.

  • Legislation can have unintended consequences. Governments often need to proceed cautiously.

  • Public apathy toward issues of sustainability may cause a government to place very little priority on sustainability legislation.



Essential Question: What makes a building sustainable?

Sustainable building design

Example: passive homes

  1. Define:

  • intelligent building

  • living building

  • grey water

  • black water

  • building envelope

  • U value

  • passive solar design

  • daylighting

  • active solar collection.

  1. List five objectives for sustainable buildings.

  • resource efficiency

  • energy efficiency

  • pollution prevention (including indoor air quality and noise abatement)

  • harmonization with the environment (including environmental assessment)

  • integrated and systemic approaches (including environmental management systems)

  1. Explain the benefits of intelligent buildings to sustainable building design. An intelligent building is typically computer controlled. The computer senses environmental changes such as the absence of people or changes in temperature and activates appropriate actions such as turning off unneeded lights or adjusting the air conditioning system.

Effective energy management system, for example, provides lowest cost energy, avoids waste of energy by managing occupied space, and makes efficient use of staff through centralized control and integrating information from different sources.

  1. Outline the key features of living buildings.

  • Harvest water and energy needs on site. Water can be collected from rain. electricity can be generated using windmills or photovoltaic solar cells. Heat can be collected with passive or active solar systems.

  • Adapted specifically to site and climate and evolve as conditions change.

  • Operate pollution-free and generate no waste that is not useful for some other process in the building or the immediate environment.

  • Promote the health and well-being of inhabitants.

  • Comprise integrated systems that maximize efficiency and comfort.

  • Improve the health and diversity of the local ecosystem rather than degrade it. Grounds with trees, water features, and other types of plantings can enhance the local ecosystem. Grassy areas are questionable since they often require inorganic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, or mowing to maintain. While they are far better than areas paved with impermeable pavement, grassy areas have limited value for preventing runoff.

  1. Identify ways in which water consumption in buildings can be optimized through reduction of water consumption and recycling.

  • Toilets (low flush, cistern displacement, waterless (composting, incinerating)),

  • urinals (controls, waterless)

  • wash-hand basins (push taps, flow controls)

  • showers (water-saving shower heads or systems)--Saves not just water but also energy by reducing hot water consumption.

  • water control in gardens and outside spaces, water-saving washing machines

  • water supply (auto shut-off and pressure regulators),

  • rain water and grey water recycling systems.

  1. Identify ways in which material use can be optimized through the life cycle of a building.

Manufacture: waste reduction

  • pollution prevention

  • use of recycled materials

  • embodied energy reduction (the quantity of energy required with all the activities associated with the production process, for example, energy to quarry, transport and manufacture building materials plus energy used in construction)

  • natural materials--for example if stone is a naturally occurring material found at or near the building site, it is sensible to use it in construction. On the other hand, if stone has to be imported from great distances, it will require a considerable amount of energy to transport it.


  • energy efficiency

  • water treatment and conservation

  • non-toxic

  • renewable energy resources

  • longer life


  • biodegradable--this is only an advantage if the materials are composted for gardening or landscaping or "digested" in ways that recover usable methane for generating electricity or heat.

  • recyclable

  • reusable.

  1. Identify waste management strategies appropriate for sustainable buildings.

Waste prevention, recycling construction and demolition materials, architectural reuse (adaptive reuse, conservative disassembly, reuse of salvaged materials). Design for material recovery.

  1. Identify ways in which the indoor environment of buildings can be optimized.

  • Indoor air quality--indoor air pollution can be minimized with proper ventilation or indoor plants. Air filters can reduce allergens and air-borne microbes. Barrior materials between the soil and bottom floor can limit radon infiltration.

  • visual quality

  • acoustic quality

  • noise control

  • system controllability.

  1. Explain how the building envelope contributes to the amount of energy a building uses during its operation.

Building envelope design is a major factor in determining the amount of energy a building will use in its operation. The building envelope must balance requirements for ventilation and daylight while providing thermal and moisture protection appropriate to prevailing climate.

  1. Identify the key considerations to take into account when selecting materials for the building envelope.

climate: Does the space need temperature control that requires heating or cooling of the building's space. Is dust, pollen, or humidity control, an issue?

activities: Different activities may determine the need for soundproofing or the climate controls described above. Example: a library will require humidity and temperature control to preserve the books and soundproofing to minimize distractions while patrons are reading.

  1. Identify four factors that determine the heat flow through a material and explain how the selection of different construction materials can contribute to heat loss or gain from a building

Q = A k ΔT / Δx


Q = the heat flow rate

A = surface area

Δx = thickness

ΔT = temperature difference

k = coefficient of thermal conductivity This is a material property


Thermal Properties of Building Materials
Material Thermal Conductivity  (W/mK)
Aluminum 250
Steel, Carbon 1% 43
Glass, window 0.96
Brick work 0.69
Concrete, light 0.42
Gypsum or plaster board  0.17
Wood across the grain, yellow pine 0.147
Insulation materials 0.035 - 0.16
Assessment: Test (higher level only) objectives 1-20
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